Foxtec-Ikhwezi was able to quickly respond to increases in machine downtime, following the implementation of new customer projects.

With the aid of visualization in HaldanMES OEE software, they can closely monitor productivity in real time and address emerging issues with urgency.

Foxtec-Ikhwezi Logo

Company Background & Operations:

Foxtec-Ikhwezi (Pty) Ltd is a manufacturer and supplier of high volume forged non-ferrous products, based in East London. Their core products are suspension struts for steering systems. The company was started in 2006, in a joint venture between Otto Fuchs (70%) and Ikhwezi Holdings (30%).

Their factory in East London, South Africa, supplies Mercedes Benz worldwide with suspension struts, forged struts and specialized AMG struts.

Foxtec-Ikhwezi Production Parts
Foxtec-Ikhwezi struts

Foxtec-Ikhwezi’s manufacturing process has 9 stages. They monitor their machine’s Overall Equipment Effectiveness through the use of HaldanMES® software. OEE is monitored in real-time and historical data is available for analysis, from the end of each shift.

OEE information for the previous day’s shifts is also displayed on boards on the shop floor. This enables the operators to view important shift data every day.

Key Challenges:

Foxtec-Ikhwezi understood the importance of monitoring downtime when they introduced new customer projects on their CNC machines.

From past experience, they knew these changes could double the time it took to perform change overs. Where previously they ran two different part numbers on their CNC machines, the project change meant that each machine would run four different part numbers.

By using HaldanMES® to monitor the duration of both uptime and downtime on their machines, they could see that the increase in change over times had affected their overall OEE. This meant it was important for them to immediately focus on reducing change over times.

The Journey of using reliable data to make Focused Improvements:

The Downtime Trend analysis graph reveals the progression of change over times over a period of 10 months.

Since April, a steady increase in change overs was visible. From July, they worked hard at improving the change over process, and eventually managed to reduce the duration of change overs.

As the image indicates, the duration of change overs at the end of October was nearly equivalent to February, before the new projects were introduced on the shop floor.

With this new project underway, Foxtec-Ikhwezi introduced new DMC laser marking machines into the area in order to mark the parts as per their customer’s requirements.

However, the Downtime Trend revealed that lasers failures were causing availability losses in their OEE.

The spikes in July, September and October all represent laser failures. Foxtec-Ikhwezi can use these OEE reports to justify increased expenditure to hold expensive spares in stock.

The Result:

Foxtec-Ikhwezi managed to quickly make the improvements to machine uptime because they could visualize the production losses in real time and in historical data.

This made it easier to navigate the production changes required for new projects. Having reliable data readily available, they could understand what each loss meant for their business overall.